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Table 1 Summary of policy developments from 1980 to 2000

From: The development of a strategy for tackling health inequalities in the Netherlands

1985 The Dutch government adopted the WHO Health For All policy targets
1986 Publication of the Health 2000 Report [15] by the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Cultural Affairs, including a paragraph on socioeconomic inequalities in health
1987 National conference on socioeconomic inequalities in health, organized under the aegis of the Scientific Council for Government Policy, resulting in a proposal for a national research programme (1989–1993) funded by the ministry of Welfare, Health and Cultural Affairs
1991 National conference, again organized under the aegis of the Scientific Council for Government Policy, resulting in an agreement among several parties involved to implement activities to reduce inequalities in health
1994 Results of the first national research programme were reported to the Minister of Public Health
1995 Publication of an important policy document by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (Health and Wellbeing). Reduction of socioeconomic inequalities in health was mentioned as one of the policy goals. Initiation of second national research programme (1995–2000)
1996 Publication of a second document on Public Health Status and Forecasts, by the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection. Socioeconomic inequalities in health were stressed as a major public health problem
2000 Report of the Lemstra committee on the enforcement of public health. The reduction of socioeconomic inequalities was mentioned as an important policy aim.
  Growing demand by the Ministry of Public Health and parliament for information on effective interventions to reduce inequalities in health
2001 Results of the second national research programme, and recommendations based on these results, reported to the Minister of Public Health